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Malaria's dangerous neighborhood

The var genes of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum encode the major variable parasite protein and are expressed in a mutually exclusive manner at the surface of an infected red blood cell. In the 26 October Nature, Freitas-Junior et al. report that Plasmodium uses nuclear architecture in a pathogen survival strategy (Nature 2000, 407:1018-1022). The sub-telomeric regions that contain the var genes are clustered together at the nuclear periphery, apparently allowing recombination at frequenciesmuch higher than those expected from homologous crossover events alone.


  1. Nature, []

  2. A genetic map and recombination parameters of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

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Wells, W. Malaria's dangerous neighborhood. Genome Biol 1, spotlight-20001031-02 (2000).

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